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ISSUE 121 VOL 16 PUBLISHED 4/11/2008

A Word from Our Editors: Knowing my name

By Matt Tiano
Executive Editor

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'll admit it. I had a really great day. I planned a trip to Australia, even. Who else can claim that?

I woke up today with registration on my list of things to do, which in my case can be a bit time consuming and complicated. I e-mailed one professor last night in regards to meeting to talk about options for next year, and before I knew it, we'd meet at 12:50 in his office. Just like that.

After one class today, I asked another professor if we could meet for a few minutes to discuss similar stuff. 3 p.m. Just like that.

So 12:50 and 3 p.m. came around and we met and discussed. I think I'm going to pretend that St. Olaf is on the trimester academic system, just so I can have more of these interactions. Professors here have a way of making you feel comfortable and making you feel like what you have to say matters more than anything. Professors here legitimately care about us.

Most of us were impressed, yet slightly cynical of admissions materials that claimed that professors would invite you into their home for dinner. Well, I have news for you: That happens here! The list goes on and on & cookie baking, ping pong amidst the sounds of Christmas carols after finals, treats brought to class for seemingly no other reason but genuine good will or a promise to take an entire class to Chapati's and to pick up the bill (although I'm a bit skeptical of this one).

Although I haven't been an undergrad at another college, I doubt that this is the case elsewhere. Instead of conducting research constantly, occasionally checking in on a lecture hall larger than the Metrodome, the personal relationships developed between St. Olaf students and professors makes our education meaningful. Your welcome, admissions office, for deservedly hyping the 12.5:1 student-faculty-ratio and average class size of 23. These things matter, folks, and I hate to say it, but I am slightly concerned that I might end up on on admissions brochure. That might not be such a bad thing.

In the 12:50 meeting, I was told that if I chose to forgo one of my chosen majors due to time constraints down the road, I'd still have an infinite number of recommendations from this professor. Hey, he knows my name! What a great feeling that is.

In the 3 p.m. meeting, we met and discussed options for registration. She then told me that she would be leading an Interim trip to Australia and that "it would be really great to have me." I'll be honest -- that felt pretty good. She knows my name, and she trusts me on an airplane.

As we go about obtaining a degree, it is reassuring to know that those people that are essentially responsible for making that degree happen are willing to do everything in their power to help us through it -- quickly and with sincerity.

And now registration is taken care of. Passport in hand.

Just like that.

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